Dead Battery after 2.5 hours towing Casita with fridge on DC - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV



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Old 05-09-2019, 11:59 AM   #15
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I’ve encountered corrosion problems where you get a good voltage reading with the multi meter, but under load, the connection isn’t good enough to carry much current. I’d start with the plug to the tow vehicle. And the corrosion might not be obvious to the naked eye. Good Luck!
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:10 PM   #16
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Do you know if you have an isolator or solenoid in the charge line in the tow vehicle. You might want to check that, unless you have direct battery connection. I had a solenoid in my previous tow that stopped working and didn't charge the battery while driving. It was supposed to connect the tow battery to trailer battery only when the two engine was running. Didn't connect at all.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:09 PM   #17
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It seems kind of strange that anybody would worry enough about food going bad in the fridge is 2.5 hours with it not running. When you loose power at home how long before your through everything out your freezer and fridge in the garbage?
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:32 PM   #18
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It seems kind of strange that anybody would worry enough about food going bad in the fridge is 2.5 hours with it not running. When you loose power at home how long before your through everything out your freezer and fridge in the garbage?
Its more an issue of the time it takes the element to get cold again, and how much propane will that take. its not the biggest issue in the world for food safety, but if I'm boondocking and move from one site to another, energy resources are scarce.

my fridge and freezer at home are much better insulated, and full of cold food and liquid. there is no comparison between a home fridge/freezer and one parked in the middle of the desert.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:55 PM   #19
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Its more an issue of the time it takes the element to get cold again, and how much propane will that take. its not the biggest issue in the world for food safety, but if I'm boondocking and move from one site to another, energy resources are scarce.

my fridge and freezer at home are much better insulated, and full of cold food and liquid. there is no comparison between a home fridge/freezer and one parked in the middle of the desert.



I'm sorry I've heard all this before.

I boondock as in never connected to power. Part my solution comes for the backpacking world where there's only refrigeration only in the colder months furnished by mother nature. Therefore we don't much is the way of sensitive food.

For your information the insulation in your home fridge is not all that good either. Put a remote thermometer inside the home fridge box and then unplug the fridge and see how fast the inside temperature gets above 40°F (the maximum for many foods) - 45°F.


The trick is making sure there's quite a bit of stuff in fridge and make sure the stuff is cold.



Any way I suggest you check the charge line from the tow to trailer before you anything drastic. Many RV shops will have the necessary equipment to test it.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:24 PM   #20
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my fridge and freezer at home are much better insulated, and full of cold food and liquid. there is no comparison between a home fridge/freezer and one parked in the middle of the desert.
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I'm sorry I've heard all this before.

The trick is making sure there's quite a bit of stuff in fridge and make sure the stuff is cold.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:45 PM   #21
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Thanks all.
This was the first time it was hotter than 60, so it would make sense to me then.

I just worry about an accident with the propane on. Might be a necessary risk, but had planned to avoid running with the tanks open.
We accidently hit the wrong button on our fridge and after about 3-4 hours we stopped for lunch. Had a dead battery in trailer. We have a very heavy duty vehicle but the fridges just draw to much to run it on 12V. We've used our fridges on propane for over 35 years and no problems. Have seen wrecks with trailers that rolled and never a propane leak. Had friends that rolled their Casita then got their next one hit from the rear totaling it. No propane leak. Friends large motor home caught fire and the propane did not explode it just vented out until the pressure went down then it stopped venting. So don't worry about running on propane. They make propane vehicles with large tanks so why worry about the propane on your trailer. The tanks just don't explode like you are worried about.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:07 PM   #22
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Dead Battery

With the trailer connected to your tow vehicle and the engine running:

Using a digital voltmeter measure the vehicle battery voltage. The voltmeter should read between 13.2 to 14.0 volts.

Then go to the trailer and measure battery voltage. The voltmeter reading should be similar to that of the tow vehicle.

Now turn on the frig and measure battery voltage at the trailer battery again. If the voltmeter reading is less than 12.6 you have a bad fuse, a bad connection, or the tow vehicle wiring is too small a guage.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Jann Todd View Post
We accidently hit the wrong button on our fridge and after about 3-4 hours we stopped for lunch. Had a dead battery in trailer. We have a very heavy duty vehicle but the fridges just draw to much to run it on 12V. We've used our fridges on propane for over 35 years and no problems. Have seen wrecks with trailers that rolled and never a propane leak. Had friends that rolled their Casita then got their next one hit from the rear totaling it. No propane leak. Friends large motor home caught fire and the propane did not explode it just vented out until the pressure went down then it stopped venting. So don't worry about running on propane. They make propane vehicles with large tanks so why worry about the propane on your trailer. The tanks just don't explode like you are worried about.
I don't really worry much about the propane safety. Only real concern would be while refilling the tow vehicle. With that said I run my fridge the day before we go anywhere. Load it up with already cold food then switch to dc while driving. My only concern with propane while driving is the pilot blew out on my Bigfoot once so I just use DC. If I was boondocking and the house battery was low I wouldn't put the fridge on DC just so the trucks has a chance of recharging the house battery while driving. With the fridge on DC I don't think it would ever get the battery back up to full charge.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:19 AM   #24
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Something not mentioned about propane safety

Since about 1992 as I remember when propane tanks changed valves to ones with the triangular knobs there has been a "excess flow" valve in the hose, the ones with the green knob, that connects to the tank that shuts off the gas instantly in the event of a unexpected leak and they work

That's why your home gas grills tell you to turn on the propane slowly, turn it on fast and it can or will activate as designed.

Byron K can have his "C" rations, I prefer cold soda and fresh food.

Joe
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:55 AM   #25
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Stone in 7-way receptacle

I got a tiny stone in one of the receptacles of my seven-way that kept my RV brakes from working. I was driving on unpaved roads and bottomed out in a wash (my plug hangs below the bumper), which is probably how I scooped up the stone. Might check for foreign objects in the appropriate receptacle.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:21 PM   #26
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I got a tiny stone in one of the receptacles of my seven-way that kept my RV brakes from working. I was driving on unpaved roads and bottomed out in a wash (my plug hangs below the bumper), which is probably how I scooped up the stone. Might check for foreign objects in the appropriate receptacle.

This is a good idea. My plug does have some damage. I have a replacement that I will swap in (terminating 7 different 10 gauge wires isn't my idea of a fun saturday morning).

My voltmeter should be here today.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:51 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
The trick is making sure there's quite a bit of stuff in fridge and make sure the stuff is cold.
We tend to carry a lot of produce and fresh perishables, so we often rely on the refrigerator. We also generally start trips with some pre-frozen home-cooked dishes.

I have been adding a few packages of blue ice to our freezer. Although we now tend to tow with the fridge on propane, I figure the blue ice helps to stabilize temperatures.

I have also used the blue ice for shorter tows and towing under milder weather conditions. It's also useful in a cooler for day trips away from the trailer.

One of our objectives is to go discover and rediscover some alternative meals that won't require so much refrigeration, so we can enjoy more flexibility. That will come in time.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:53 PM   #28
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My voltmeter should be here today.
Throw on all the load you can and see if you can bring that voltage down to its knees!
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